Ironforge, Auction House - This hour has produced more of the same, nothing groundbreaking. I got curious about some Khorium Ore (the Titanium Ore equivalent from Burning Crusade) given Auctioneer had it in the "Blue" (meaning it was less than 40% (or thereabouts) of market price). But I couldn't bring myself to believe that it was worth 35g a piece, so I passed on it.
I think I'm going to dedicate this competition to Belt of Tasseled Lanterns . Yet again, I found one for 15g that I was able to flip for 60g, and *then* I found another one promptly listed at 17g, which is now sitting at around 60g. It was my first big success, and it has come back again and again to help me grind through this challenge.
I have decided that 10,000 gold is a good standard challenge. It is a nice round number. It's big, but not too big. And most importantly, there should be some inflation that comes with Cataclysm, which means that 10,000 gold won't be as far into the distance as it is today, just like it is much closer today than it was four years ago. Plus, I think I might be on pace to do slightly better than the revised 38 hour spot. All of the sudden I realized I was sitting on over 4000 liquid gold with a pretty decent sized inventory. If fortune holds for the next two weeks before Cataclysm hits, I think I'll squeeze in under 32 hours of /played time.
For anyone who has seen the television show "Deadliest Catch", you know that there is a real balance that needs to be found for how long you let your crab pots soak. Let them soak too long on a bad spot, and you'll be wasting a lot of precious time. Go too short, and you'll be inefficient in having to work twice as hard (if you've found a good spot) as if you'd let it set for twice as long. The same applies to this gold-making challenge. Log in too frequently and you are increasing the /played time without letting the bait set long enough or the ocean to churn over its inventory. And if you don't log in enough, you lose touch with the daily trends in the market, which make it harder to play with commodities.
All else equal, I think if a tortoise (compared with a hare) wanted to complete this challenge in as short a /played time as possible, they could probably do it in 10 hours or less simply by logging in for 5 minutes at a time and scanning for a specific set of can't-miss items. It'll take them 3 months of real-life time to get there, but I think it could be done. Great deals come up *all the time*. And with the Auctioneer search functionality doing 4/5ths of the work for you, it's only a matter of time. Just look at yet another success from an Epic item flip: Wapach's Spaulders of Solidarity netted a 300g profit this hour after I fished it off the AH floor for a mere 100g. You wait for the deals like that to show themselves and you can really minimize your /played time.
Total Assets after 19 hours: About 7300 gold
Go to Hour 20 of the Alpha Competition